With Florida’s lopsided 63-35 win over Arkansas now in the rearview mirror, let’s hand out some (figurative) helmet stickers for the Gators’ big performance. Who earned one in the slopping of the Hogs?
1st quarter 12:15: Kemore Gamble, Stone Forsythe, Richard Gouraige, Brett Heggie, Stewart Reese and Jean DeLance for their blocking on Dameon Pierce’s run. This one’s helmet stickers all the way for the big uglies because it set the tone for the day. The entire offensive line, plus TE Kemore Gamble, fired off the snap and created an abundance of space for Pierce to run through. And typically, Reese would get chastised instead of praised for blocking no one and looking around aimlessly for someone to engage, but because the rest of the line did such a phenomenal job with their blocks and because there was nobody in the area for him to block, he gets one by association.
1st quarter 11:04: Kemore Gamble X2, Stone Forsythe X2, Richard Gouraige X2, Brett Heggie X2, Stewart Reese X2 and Jean DeLance X2 for their blocking on Dameon Pierce’s run. Copy and paste the synopsis of that last play, except that Reese actually did have someone to engage this time and did so well.
1st quarter 7:43: Trevon Grimes for his 8 yard touchdown catch and run; Kemore Gamble X3 and Jean DeLance X3 for their blocks on the play. Grimes gets one for the vision to use his blocks and find the end zone, and how about three helmet stickers on the opening drive for Gamble and DeLance each?
1st quarter 5:30: Kyle Trask and Keon Zipperer for their 31 yard connection. The first of many for Trask on this night, he saw a seam in the Arkansas defense and exploited it with a missile to Zipperer to flip the field.
1st quarter 3:48: Kadarius Toney for his catch off the deflected pass. Incredible awareness by Toney on this play to snatch the ball out of the air after it should have been picked off not once, but twice by Razorback defenders.
1st quarter 2:41: Ventrell Miller for his sack. The instant Feleipe Franks pump faked, he was done for. Miller had beaten his man badly and finished the job of collapsing the pocket around Franks.
1st quarter 1:43: Mohamoud Diabate for his TFL. Rakeem Boyd was sent into a buzz saw on this play by Franks, who threw him a screen pass that led him right into Diabate’s arms. Great play recognition, great pursuit, and great form on the tackle.
1st quarter 1:19: Shawn Davis for his TFL. Boyd went the wrong way for the second straight play, as the safety Davis disengaged from tight end Blake Kern to meet Boyd for a short loss.
2nd quarter 15:00: Ventrell Miller X2 for his PBU. A well drawn up fourth down play that was on its way to being executed for a first down was instead thwarter by Miller, who stuck a hand up and rejected it. Turnover on downs. End of momentum.
2nd quarter 13:50: Richard Gouraige X3 for blocking two defenders at once. That’s one way to clear a lane for your Heisman Trophy contending quarterback! Gouraige just plowed through a pair of Hogs to open up a lane for Trask to bull through for the first down on a critical third and two.
2nd quarter 10:10: Kyle Trask X2 and Trevon Grimes X2 for their 23 yard touchdown hookup. Blown coverage? Sure. But Trask saw it and threw a touchdown pass through it, so he and Grimes get a pretty easy helmet sticker for this one.
2nd quarter 7:50: Kyle Trask X3 and Xzavier Henderson for their 43 yard hookup (Play of the Game nominee A). An incredible job by Kyle Trask to not panic and pick up the ball after the pitch back to him went wrong on the flea flicker was dwarfed by the throw he then made after regaining his bearings. And the backpedaling, falling catch by Henderson at the other end? Just spectacular. What could have been disaster was turned into a Heisman-reel play to completely change the Gators’ fortunes on the drive.
2nd quarter 7:25: Kyle Trask X4 and Justin Shorter for their 21 yard scoring hookup (Play of the Game nominee B). This was another great throw by Trask, who fit this ball onto a tiny ledge where only his guy could get it. But Shorter stole the show on this play, climbing the ladder and extending fully to reel it in before back-kicking the orange paint in the end zone for the score.
2nd quarter 5:15: Kyle Trask X5 and Trevon Grimes X3 for their 21 yard connection. Trask fit this one into a window that can only be described as miniscule. And Grimes got crunched as he received the ball, and held on anyway.
2nd quarter 4:40: Kyle Trask X6 and Jacob Copeland for their 33 yard scoring hookup. What a deflating blow this was for Arkansas, who had just cut the lead back down to seven, to then watch Trask do this. Copeland had freed himself up in the corner of the end zone, and Trask was more than happy to get the Pensacola native involved in the offense.
2nd quarter 3:45: Zach Carter for his sack. Perhaps James Houston IV, who was sitting out with a hamstring injury, put this play best with what he said to Carter upon his return to the sidelines: “You know they can’t block you!”
2nd quarter :24: Kyle Trask X7 and Keon Zipperer X2 for their 5 yard touchdown connection (Play of the Game nominee C). Trask managed to put this ball in a place where only Zipperer could get it… before Zipperer even broke for that place in the back corner of the end zone. Utterly fantastic anticipation by Trask and a great job by Zipperer to navigate both boundary lines and stay inbounds.
3rd quarter 11:00: Dameon Pierce for his truck stick. Pierce never did break off a huge run in this game, but he did make sure that Arkansas felt his impact- literally. He lowered his shoulder into a trio of Razorback defenders and knocked them backwards a few yards to add five yards to his carry.
3rd quarter 9:06: Brad Stewart and Mohamoud Diabate X2 for their TFL. Right after a Florida punt, when Arkansas may have been feeling good about their place in the game, Stewart and Diabate teamed up to throw the Hogs’ Treylon Burks for a loss.
3rd quarter 8:02: Marco Wilson for his first down saving tackle. Tight end Blake Kern appeared to have the corner turned for a first down on a third and three, but Wilson had other plans and dragged him down a full yards short to kill the Arkansas drive.
3rd quarter 3:01: Emory Jones for his one yard touchdown run. The line did a solid job here blocking for Jones, but this play was all Emory. After taking a pop at the line of scrimmage, he simply bounced off the defender and found a crease to slide through for the touchdown.
3rd quarter 1:28: Amari Burney for his sack. Burney has had some intermittent success this season, but perhaps no play was bigger than his drive-killing sack of Franks here. Late in the third quarter in a three score game, Arkansas faced a critical third and six, and Burney blew through the trenches to drop his former teammate.
4th quarter 14:37: Kyle Trask X8 and Trevon Grimes X4 for their 30 yard connection. No better way to rack up the statistics than by abusing a battered and beaten secondary, but it’s a chunk play nonetheless and helmet stickers are in order. Trask found Grimes open deep and pulled the trigger. Pitch and catch.
4th quarter 13:50: NayQuan Wright for his stiff arm. Whatever the video game console you play with, Wright definitely mashed that button and did so at just the right time on this run that he reminded Arkansas defensive back Simeon Blair had very real consequences. Wright used Blair as a springboard to vault forward for a few extra yards. Helmet sticker? Oh yes.
4th quarter 13:13: Kyle Trask X9 and Keon Zipperer X3 for their 11 yard touchdown connection. Too easy. Trask’s sixth and final touchdown toss of the night came to Zipperer, who’d found a hole in the Hogs’ defense. Trask simply lobbed the ball over the traffic and into Zipperer’s hands at the top of the “S” in the Gators’ end zone font to cap his night in style.
4th quarter 12:30: Mohamoud Diabate X3 for his pressure; Zach Carter X2 for his scoop n score (Play of the Game nominee D). A play that Carter will remember for the rest of his life began with Franks and Boyd botching the exchange and putting the ball on the turf. Carter, a junior from the Tampa area, couldn’t believe his luck. He picked up the bouncing ball and took it back 34 yards to the house to finally get the defense in on the scoring parade. But Diabate deserves a sticker too for crashing through the line and cutting off any running lane for either Franks or Boyd even if they hadn’t botched the exchange.
4th quarter 5:48: Emory Jones X2 and Xzavier Henderson X2 for their 9 yard scoring connection. Great throw by Emory to put it where only Henderson could get it, great job by Henderson to highpoint the football and take it out of that small window. Well done by a pair of backups who could very well be the future of Gator football.
4th quarter 4:49: Princely Umanmielen and Tyron Hopper for their sack. How about some love for the youngsters? Sensing their chance to etch their names onto the stat sheet, the freshmen Umanmielen and Hopper invaded the backfield on their own routes and met at quarterback KJ Jefferson, dropping him for a loss.